It’s all true. God, it’s all true. Vaccinations cause cancer and autism and autistic cancer, the illuminati is running the world, as are the lizard people and the NSA and the Patriarchy™ (we have meetings every Tuesday while our faithful servants wash the glass ceiling). Chemtrails are killing you, the US is operating drones in foreign countries (oh, no, that’s a conspiracy). The orbital weapons platforms are real. Flight MH370 passed through a temporal anomaly allowing it to be shot down, diverted to Diego Garcia and transported to several different dimensions. 9/11, the Boston Bombings and the Glastonbury Festival are all made up to make you fear and worst of all I love pop music. That thoughtful stuff ain’t for me. Who wants to do a bunch of thinkin’ and crap? Nope, I like my music inoffensive, bland, and samey thanks and I don’t care who knows it. Yes indeedy, it’s week four of my ongoing quest to depress myself to death, and I’ve injected bleach into my mind and now I occupy the same intellectual level as the people who enjoy this shit. Yes, for a change instead of faux-intellectual snobbery to hide the fact I’m being horrible about a bunch of people far more talented and successful than I will ever be, I am going to listen to this week’s chart and actually try to like it.
#19 The Saturdays – Not Giving Up
This isn’t a good start. I thought when I started this abortive disaster of a column that I’d find a whole new generation of shite, because I haven’t listened to chart music for a decade, but I was surprised by the sheer number of gumshoe talentless dog fuckers still pedalling their woeful repetitive garbage. The Saturdays, for instance, were something, like lead waterpipes or telephone boxes or a youtube comment argument I can bring myself to read, that I hitherto thought had been consigned to the history books; but no, like Thatcherite politics and waterboarding, they seem to be a terrible old idea that people are trying to keep going; though no information has leaked about a C.I.A. report into the effectiveness of the Saturdays as an enhanced interrogation technique as of yet. While their early stuff was about as inoffensive as this kind of sludge usually is, with colours so bright you think you’ve crashed your car into the back of a sherbet lorry while having an acid flashback, and worrying whether you should be exposing the under-tens to women wearing outfits that would have got them burned at the stake in medieval Europe. You alternate between wanting to circle-strafe around the video set lobbing in grenades and blasts of machinegun fire before finishing off the survivors with a handgun round to the back of the head, and feeling like your brain has been coated with model airplane cement like a summer bluebottle that had the misfortune to land on your desk when you were finishing up that Messerschmitt and now crawls limply around on its one remaining functional limb unable to comprehend what has happened. Classic bubblegum pop compiled by highly trained and passionate sound engineers who all wish they were dead working overtime to make listenable the shrieking harpies chosen for their adeptness at filling dresses rather than any singing ability. This latest thing inspires the image of this sound engineer, now hopelessly depressed by watching his best years pissed away filling the charts with this swill, all the expensive houses and cars in the world unable fill the gap where his soul used to be, finally having that nervous breakdown that’s been in the post and despondently rolling his head back and forth along the mixing desk while gently weeping.
I LIKED: when it stopped.
#18 Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
The reliably bizarre Paloma Faith must have been superbly pissed off when Lady GaGa’s schtick stuck, because it was the same stuff she’d been trying to push on the idiot unappreciative mass audience for years. Now she’s considered a follower of that movement. Can’t Rely On You is ultimately perfunctory, but benefits from a solid foundation (there’s a great disco beat begging to be made out of that riff) and being fronted by one of the few people in modern pop who appears to actually be human, not a mechanical meatbag with a slot in the anus for inserting five pound notes.
I LIKED: most of it, to be honest. It’s groovy and short and fun and catchy.
#12 Tove Lo – Stay High
Do you feel empty, and alone inside? Disconnected from the world like you’re viewing it through a video feed at 240p? Desperately seeking some kind of connection deeper than an emoji on facebook messenger? Of course you are, if you read this chances are you’re under thirty and that’s precisely how you feel and the emotive outbursts of Miss Lo will be right up your dank alley. It feels like the werewolf reverse form of Marina and the Diamond’s special special You Are Not a Robot; robbed of any of that song’s joviality or optimism. It’s a cold, lonely rain lashed window of a track.
I LIKED: imagining people dancing to a song about emptiness.
#5 Iggy Azalea – Fancy
And there I was thinking my resolve was beginning to crack, or I had been in the napalm jungle so long I’d forgotten what the world felt like; and I was starting to like music more… but no. Iggy Azalea, appropriately, looks like a melted waxwork figure of the former Stooges frontman and sounds like someone having some kind of seizure, I wonder if someone should put a leather belt in her mouth, or whether letting her bite her tongue off would really be the greater mercy.
I LIKED: realising I never have to listen to it again.
#2 The Vamps – Last Night
I profess to be a rock fan, and pop rock is rock in the same way pop tarts are a balanced and nutritious meal for those afflicted with diabetes. Yes, as usual they appear to have used liposuction to remove any kind of attitude in either the lyrics or the music, the danger has bled from the chords until all that remains is a posturing session for hair-mounting stations sometimes mistaken for human beings. The relentless grinning optimism takes me through the five stages of grief. At first, smugly thinking “you’re not really happy, that’s a politician smile”, then feeling actually quite angry, then drafting a letter to Universal with a mix of pleading and threats, then a vast reservoir of misery that’s been burbling away rises up my throat, followed finally by realising that no matter how many of these people I kill, they’d still find more and manufacture them into bands like recycled cardboard and I’d have to hear them on the TV in my prison cell.
I LIKED: almost anything else.
#1 Sigma – Nobody to Love
The propensity of Spanish island beach party tracks in the chart is a particularly sticking point; being 250 pounds of chewed bubblegum, and a pasty weaking Norse thing to boot, I don’t think I’ll ever go to the beach. But apparently people who don’t look like Gumby like to listen to stuff like this, with easy boring beats and repetitive gentle choruses that are as pleasant as sand in the arse crack; but why they like to listen to this stuff away from the summer is one of those mysteries of human consciousness I’ll never completely solve, like how Americans feel the need to make declarative statements about foreign policy despite not being able to find their own country on a map. An accidental scroll through the youtube comments for this song revealed a hive of idiocy, misogyny, racism and “yay, the holiday is coming” confirming beyond a doubt that this is music for utter cunts. I will add your names to The List, and when I establish my Reich, you will be purged.
I LIKED: writing that paragraph better than listening to this music.
Wow! What a great chart. Particularly pleased to see Chris Brown shuffling out of the top twenty and back to the haunted mirror through which he presumably slithers every morning. Now if you want some decent current music from someone with actual talent, serpently seek Sasha Keable. She is touted as “the next Adele” but I don’t think that’s fair. Her music doesn’t sound anything like something a cab driver would play while burning photo albums in a layby. It’s actually good, it’s also free. Follow this link.
Written under duress by Steven.